Breast Cancer & The Environment

mother nature

October is breast cancer awareness month and before it comes to a close I wanted to share a post on the environmental influence on female hormone disruption.

Environmental Medicine is a very young aspect to health care, but it will undoubtably be a major player in the way we view the development of illness in the next decade or two.

We have a this amazing trickle of interest in environmental toxicity developing in our adult populations.  What’s even more interesting is that more and more elementary school children and teenagers are learning about the influence of synthetic chemicals in our food, body care products and home cleaning agents and are choosing healthier alternatives.  All the while, inspiring their parents and others to join them.

I’ve also believed that it’s important to reduce our exposure to toxins.  If we could…

  • Choose fresh food options versus packaged
  • Use natural creams, soaps and deodorants
  • Avoid using chemical air fresheners in our homes, on our couches, on our pillows, in our cars, etc…
  • Clean our homes with good old soap and water, white vinegar or grapefruit seed extract, etc…

We could significantly cut down on the toxic burden we are exposed to everyday.

Why is this important?

This is important because so many chemicals are known “Endocrine Disruptors.”  An endocrine disruptor is a chemical that can easily slip into our blood stream if inhaled, eaten or absorbed.  Once in our blood stream it can move into our tissues.  These chemicals look like our hormones, but they are not.  Because they so closely resemble our hormones, they can act on hormone sensitive tissue.  However, because they are not our natural hormones, their influence on the cells of our hormone sensitive tissue can cause them to go haywire.  These hormone disruptors do exactly that, they disrupt the normal balance of physiology in the hormonal system.  They send the wrong message to the cells they act on, causing their function to change.

What happens when the normal balance of physiology in the hormonal system is disrupted?

In women’s health, chemical endocrine disruptors can cause a host of situations.  Two situations that occur include a shift in how hormones are secreted and/or abnormal cellular growth. The severity of the situation just depends on how well your body can detoxify these unwanted chemicals and how much you are exposed to.  Endocrine disruptors can cause:

  • Early puberty
  • PMS
  • Irregular cycles
  • Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS)
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Fertility issues
  • Miscarriage
  • Inhibition of Lactation in Postpartum Women
  • Breast Cancer

We can decrease our body burden.  As I work with my patients I encourage them to eat nutritiously, drink plenty of clean water, keep body chemistry alkaline, support proper detoxification and be informed about what they can do to reduce chemical exposure.  When we decrease our exposure and increase detoxification and alkalinity in our bodies we can overcome female health issues and we engage in major preventative strategies against breast cancer.

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